Ministers meet council over closure of Development Corporation

THE FUTURE of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s funding and investment was the focus of top-level discussions last week.

On Tuesday (13 September) the Leader of Thurrock Council, along with the Chief Executive and the development corporation’s Chair and CEO met with Bob Neill, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, to discuss the plans for the transfer of powers from the corporation to the council.

The corporation will close on 31 March 2012.

The meeting at the Department for Communities and Local Government in London was an opportunity for the council and the corporation to explain the progress that has been made on the transfer arrangements and the commitment both organisations have to working together to ensure the continuity and success of the borough’s regeneration programme.

Thurrock holds the key to economic success across the Thames Gateway – from the £1½ billion private sector investment at London Gateway (DP World) to the loosening of the A13-M25/Thames crossing transport bottleneck.

Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “The council and the corporation are working closely to ensure a smooth transition of power and functions and the minister said he was pleased with the progress being made.

“I am delighted that from 1 October – six months ahead of the handover – co-ordination of all planning matters will be in place, providing clarity and certainty for developers and residents alike.”

Will McKee, Chair of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, added: “We have been working hard to ensure that our key regeneration projects pass critical delivery milestones as part of the handover arrangements to Thurrock Council.

“The satisfactory completion of these projects will deliver transformational and positive change for the borough and we wish our council partners well in continuing the future regeneration effort in the years to come.”

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